If you have allergies, your immune system is basically overreacting to something that doesn't cause an issue in most people. Common environmental allergens are pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and mold. Food allergies, such as from peanuts or shellfish, are also common. People can also be allergic to bee venom or from other insects.
Allergies present with many symptoms. When you are allergic to something, your body releases a compound called histamine. This can cause sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, nasal and sinus congestion, sneezing, skin rash, and even nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea depending on the allergen. This is your body's way of trying to get rid of the irritating culprit. A life-threatening reaction, anaphylaxis, put the body into a state of shock and must be treated as an emergency. This is a more common reaction in food and insect allergies.
For most people, environmental allergic reactions are just a combination of annoying symptoms to contend with. Left untreated, however, those annoying symptoms can eventually cause even more distress. If you are suffering from nasal allergies, here's what you need to know.
Stuffy Or Runny Nose
Rhinitis is a chronic inflammation of the nasal passage. It can interrupt your sleep, which can make handling your responsibilities more difficult. The primary complication with untreated rhinitis is that it can also lead to asthma. This is a condition in which the bronchi become inflamed and narrow, causing them to swell and produce excess mucous, making breathing difficult. By treating the rhinitis, you can prevent or help treat asthma.
- Try to reduce your exposure to the allergens that cause you issues. If pet dander is a problem, don't have animals if possible. If you do have one or are exposed to other people's pets, wash your hands frequently to lessen the chance of the dander reaching your face.
- Use a neti pot. This is a device that looks like a small teapot. A saline solution is used to irrigate the nasal passages, thinning out the nasal secretions and mucous. The saline also helps to dry the passages.
- Your doctor may also recommend the use of a Fluticasone nasal spray, like Dymista. This is a spray used in each nostril once or twice daily. It helps to alleviate a stuffy or runny nose as well as the other symptoms common with environmental allergies, such as watery eyes and sneezing.
If your sinuses are constantly draining or you have what's referred to as a post nasal drip, your throat can become irritated from the mucous. You can trying sucking on hard candies and staying well hydrated, but if the irritation is chronic, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. He can prescribe a antihistamine and rule out acid reflux.
If your eyes are red, constantly tearing, and feel itchy or gritty, you may have chronic allergic conjunctivitis. Your doctor can prescribe azelastine eye drops, which include an antihistamine. While there isn't much risk of complications from chronically irritated eyes, it's obviously very annoying and can interrupt normal daily activities.